Microsoft seeks to steal Apple’s thunder, Windows 7 Beta @ CES

Xerces affiliated bloggers & tech-TV anchors attending CES 2009 are streaming the news back to Rumors HQ that Microsoft has made a strong, headline-grabbing announcement at the opening of CES with Steve Ballmer’s announcement of a Windows 7 Beta to be made available for download tomorrow (Friday, January 9th).

LAS VEGAS, NV (Xerces Media)
Xerces-affiliated reporters and long-time source/contributor “Tron” are in attendance at CES, and though many have called this year’s Consumer Electronics Show a ‘hollowed-out shell of its former self,’ this news promises a rather more headline-grabbing show than many pundits seem to have expected.

Tron, only minutes out of the Ballmer speech and battling spotty connectivity due to the crush of wireless-access density in the area of the CES show floor, will be sending us updates throughout the week & week-end from CES as the bulk of Xerces’ remaining reporting teams are on their way home from Macworld.

As a long-time employee of Apple and other prominent Silicon Valley tech companies, Tron has a unique perspective on developments like this Windows 7 Beta — and his analysis will figure prominently in our examinations of this news’ potential impact on Apple & the Mac community.

Based on initial reaction from our reporters and others they have been able to talk with in attendance of CES, while there is some hopefulness among Windows-using partisans that this will mark the beginning of a new era for Microsoft’s key technologies — an era that will bring them more in line with the advances made by Mac OS X, Linux, and Open Source in general in recent years — there is also a sense that this signals the end of Microsoft’s ineffectual attempts at rehabilitating Windows Vista’s brutally negative (and much-deserved) reputation.

“Giving up” on Vista, while a final nail in the coffin of strategies hatched at Redmond over the past decade, is actually a very smart move on MS’ part and could indeed signal the beginning of a new era in which Microsoft’s bleeding outflow of developers, users, supporters and technology company partners could be staunched — partially, if not in whole.

What does this mean for Apple, Mac users (particularly those who also run Windows on Intel Macs in VM applications or dual-boot arrangements), and the future of OS X — most notably, the “Snow Leopard” Mac OS X 10.6 project and its “Grand Central” optimization effort which parallels Microsoft’s own in Windows 7 with surprising closeness?!

Some are quick to dismiss this as a routine development, and one which if anything, proves Microsoft’s desperation to be promoting a product that won’t ship for another year over a product which is currently shipping…..but insiders at Infinite Loop & elsewhere aren’t so sure.

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  • Ted

    If Windows 7 still requires the customer to buy anti-virus software that takes up a good percentage of a machine’s cycles, it will be another DOA moment similar to Vista.

    There’s only so long Microsoft can keep marketing garbage until people wake up and smell the roses – whether that be open source or Apple.

  • admin

    We couldn’t agree more!